Sony Music Nashville closes Arista Nashville, restructures radio promotion strategy

Sony Music Nashville closes Arista Nashville, restructures radio promotion strategy

CEO/chairman Randy Goodman aims to “[target Sony’s approach] to radio to be more strategic” to create a more “effective artist development model”

In an era where developing cost-effective streamlining measures to serve DSPs and radio stations with attractive content is growing more difficult for country music’s mainstream labels, news Thursday that Sony Music Nashville CEO/chairman Randy Goodman was shuttering its country-related Arista imprint is a logical step.

Songs taking well over a year to ascend to the top of Billboard’s country radio charts was described by Goodman as “not a model that is an efficient or effective artist development model.”

Now, via a streamlined strategy, Sony’s still-existing Nashville imprints — RCA and Columbia — will send fewer, more DSP momentum-driven tracks to radio stations. Showing more reasoning than saying, “we want you to play it,” Goodman states is the best strategy moving forward.

Currently, at radio, Sony Music Nashville’s Kane Brown, Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Luke Combs and newcomer Nate Smith (now shifted to RCA Nashville in the realignment) — have all achieved success via Smith’s “Whiskey On You,” Brown and his wife Katelyn’s “Thank God” and Combs’ “Going, Going, Gone,” his fifteenth consecutive No. 1 single on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart.

No acts are being dropped from Arista’s country imprint. As noted, Smith heads to RCA. Other Arista artists — including Brooks & Dunn, Adam Doleac, Ryan Hurd, Seaforth and Morgan Wade — will be aligned with either RCA or Columbia upon releasing future radio-ready projects.

As for Columbia, they receive upstart Megan Moroney and veteran chart-toppers Old Dominion in the shift.

Insofar as executives, Arista’s director of promotion and artist development, Ali O’Connell, moves to RCA alongside specialist/promotion & artist development Amy Menz. Nicole Walden, RCA’s specialist/promotion & artist development, moves from Nashville-related business to oversee RCA’s nationwide operation. Finally, Lisa Owen, an Arista director of promotion and artist development, shifts to Columbia.

Lyndsay Church, formerly Arista’s senior director of promotion and artist development, has left the company.

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